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Aldermen ask Gagne why new assessments are so high

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Robert Gagne. Photo/Andrew Sylvia

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Manchester Board of Assessors Chairman Robert Gagne came before the Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Tuesday night to field concerns after the recently released 2021 city property revaluation saw a 40 percent jump in property values.

The revaluation, the first since 2016, saw property value increases in all types of property, ranging from a 14 percent increase for commercial property to 76 percent increases for four-to-eight family homes.


→Check property assessments online by address at Vision Appraisal


Across the board, residential property values rose more than that of non-residential properties, adjusting to the reality of Manchester’s evolving real estate market.

Gagne told the board that the increased assessments came directly from a formula reflecting home sale values, which have spiked recently due to increased demand for rental investment properties, a lack of housing vacancies in the city and an influx of cash into the housing market.

Indeed, he told the board he was surprised at how commonly multi-family home exchanges were done through cash rather than mortgages.

Alderman Pat Long asked Gagne to post the formula for the assessment rate and tax rate on the city’s website, which he said he could do through a .pdf file. Gagne added that he expects the city’s tax rate, which will likely be finalized sometime in early November, to be $17.60 per thousand dollars of assessed valuation.

The 2020 tax rate is $24.66, with the drop coming from the millions of dollars of growth added to the city’s overall tax base.

Several members of the board expressed concern over the assessment jump, such as Barbara Shaw (Ward 9).

When she received her home’s assessment in the mail, she saw a 67 percent increase, stating that her own constituents along with constituents she is supporting in the adjacent Ward 8 during the current Aldermanic vacancy there saw an average jump of 46 percent.

While Shaw said she did not have a plan to address the issue, she felt that anyone seeing an assessment jump over 50 percent should receive an automatic review.

“It seems like the south end really got socked,” she said. “I’m really upset about it.”

Gagne reiterated that the rate came from home sale data, using condos in Ward 9 on Calef Road that sold for three times their previous assessed value as examples.

Alderman Ross Terrio (Ward 7) noted that the adjusted tax rate will be seen on Dec. 31 property tax bills.

Anyone seeking to challenge their home’s newly assessed value must schedule a hearing prior to Sept. 16. Information on how to schedule a hearing is available on the website of Vision Government Solutions, the company that operates Manchester’s online assessment database.

Information on assessed values of properties in the city can be found at gis.vgsi.com/manchesternh

Information on how to request an abatement is available on the Assessor’s page of the city website.


 


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About this Contributor

Andrew Sylvia

Andrew Sylvia

Assistant EditorManchester Ink Link

Born and raised in the Granite State, Andrew Sylvia has written approximately 10,000 pieces over his career for outlets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. On top of that, he's a licensed notary and licensed to sell property, casualty and life insurance, he's been a USSF trained youth soccer and futsal referee for the past six years and he can name over 60 national flags in under 60 seconds according to that flag game app he has on his phone, which makes sense because he also has a bachelor's degree in geography (like Michael Jordan). He can also type over 100 words a minute on a good day.

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